Multiple supply chain bottlenecks are hurting industries, and a big problem for automakers is the lack of semiconductor chips. Without them, vehicle production has been dealt some major blows. Ford saw the writing on the wall when it announced a strategic partnership with chip manufacturer GlobalFoundries, hinting that it could get into the business of making its own chips.
In the announcement Thursday, the two companies agreed to create a collaborative model to "accelerate the next wave in automotive chip design." Not only will they work on developing more advanced chips -- the partnership may expand to create a US-based chip industry for Ford and GlobalFoundries. The end goal, if the two agree down the road, is to boost supplies for not just Ford, but for all automakers doing business in the US.
"It's critical that we create new ways of working with suppliers to give Ford -- and America -- greater independence in delivering the technologies and features our customers will most value in the future," Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.
The partnership is in an exploratory phase, so there aren't any concrete plans to start building chips immediately. However, the language sounds optimistic that Ford wants to get into the business itself. It's hard to argue against it when the automaker has to park thousands of F-150s until it can install chips in the trucks and ship them out to dealers.
Experts don't expect the chip shortage to enter any sort of recovery stage until the middle of next year. Supplies could begin to ramp up again in 2023, according to current predictions.